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Assisted Living: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
Becoming a Nursing Home Administrator
The nursing home administrator is a leader in the organization who not only directs its operations but in a large part is responsible for setting the tone of the culture. Now more than ever, true leaders are needed in this area of healthcare. Let's look at this position, its responsibilities, training requirements, expected salary and career advancement opportunities.
New Requirements for Activity Directors
As more baby boomers enter retirement, more than ever there is a need for qualified activity directors. To this end, the National Certification Council of Activity Professionals (NCCAP) has put in place a new national exam designed to elevate the level of the profession and practitioner.
Nursing Home and Assisted Living Activities
At the heart of any nursing or assisted living home is the activity program. It is an integral part of the cultural change movement and central to person-centered care. It is essential for resident quality of life.
Resident-Centered Food Services
Food services in long-term care has come a long way, both in quality and taste as well as service and choice. Resident-centered food service is an essential part of the culture change movement in long-term care homes. Simple things to you and I like eating when you want, what you want and where you want have been, up until recently, something foreign to long-term care.
Activities for Nursing Homes and Assisted Living
An individualized, well though out activities program is at the heart of a quality life for residents in nursing homes or assisted living residences. Activities is not just about bingo and watching television. In fact, activity programs can be quite creative and stimulating for the mind. And the health and well-being benefits of a good program are becoming more and more documented. In short, this stuff works.
Sex in Nursing Homes
Many older Americans routinely engage in vaginal intercourse, oral sex and masturbation according to a federally funded study published by the New England Journal of Medicine. Yet sex in long-term care facilities among residents is still a taboo subject. Let's look at this a little closer.
Aging Trends Spell Business Opportunities
There are almost 40 million people aged 65+ in the United States. Here's a rundown of what this means for the economy.
Activities for Men
In most retirement communities women residents outnumber the men. It’s a fact of life for most activity directors but planning for men’s activities is also a must. In this article we look at some ideas for successful men’s programming.
MDS 3.0 What You Need to Know
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) tool for care management in nursing homes is called the Minimum Data Set (MDS), a core set of screening and assessment elements that is part of a Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI). The RAI provides a comprehensive and standardized assessment of each long-term care facility resident's functional capabilities and helps staff to identify health problems. MDS 3.0 was introduced in the fall of 2010. This article provides an overview.
Becoming a Director of Nursing for a Skilled...
The Director of Nursing Services (DON) works in concert with the Administrator and directs the Nursing Department to maintain quality standards of care in accordance with Federal, State and facility standards, guidelines and regulations.
The Activity Professional
Do you enjoy working with the elderly? Do you like a job that requires flexibility, ongoing learning, organization, communication skills and openness to new experiences? Then a career as an activity professional may be for you!
Becoming a Certified Therapeutic Recreation...
Residential living communities for seniors share more than an aging population. Each has a unique responsibility to provide for the mental well being of their residents. The activities program is one way to provide for that well being and the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist is a unique individual specially-trained to administer an effective activities program.
Starting a Non-Medical Home Care Business
With your operations ready to go, it's time to acquire clients. Let's get started. Page 7.
Conduct a Marketing Audit
Whether you are an organization of 5,000 or 5, marketing will be the key to success. Yet many organizations do not know where to begin. And even organizations with highly-skilled marketing departments may not have their priorities in place. A marketing audit could be the most valuable investment you make in your company.
Adult Day Services Rules and Regulations By State
With the growing trend for payers to want to keep people out of assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, other aging services become increasingly important. One of those is adult day care or adult day services (ADS). And with increased importance comes increased scrutiny. This article provides an overview of adult day care rules and regulations. They will continue to evolve.
MDS 3.0 By the Category
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' (CMS) tool for facilitating care management in nursing homes is called the Minimum Data Set (MDS), a core set of screening and assessment elements that is part of a Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI). The RAI provides a comprehensive and standardized assessment of each long-term care facility resident's functional capabilities and helps staff to identify health problems. In this series, we examine seven areas of care.
Recharge Your Assisted Living Marketing
Is your assisted living marketing and sales approach stale? Do you need to recharge your marketing to increase referrals and closes? Getting to a full occupancy and being profitable in today’s business environment requires a totally different marketing approach. By continuing to pursue the same old, ineffective methods, you will get the same old results. Here are six suggestions to get you thinking.
Designing the Nursing Home of the Future
While the desire for most people is to age in place, you don’t need to dig far to find the crippling health statistics that suggest people will need nursing homes and assisted living homes. Designing the home of the future with a focus on person-centered care will be crucial. Future residents will demand a different model.
Filing a Claim with Medicaid
This article covers how to become a Medicaid provider and file a claim with Medicaid.
Adult Day Care Overview
As society moves away from institutionalized care to home based care and aging in place, the vital role that adult day services play will grow. Now is the time to consider this as a viable business option. The MetLife Mature Market Institute report on adult day care sheds light on this growing industry. Elder day care offers both respite for caregivers as well a much needed socialization for seniors.
MDS 3.0 Beyond Reimbursement
It is important to accurately capturing ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) data when completing scheduled MDS 3.0 assessments for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement purposes. While compliance is needed for reimbursement, it is also essential to have an accurately completed MDS 3.0 assessment so that an individualized plan of care can be developed.
Hand Hygiene and Other Basics Key to Preventing...
Hand hygiene and good infection control practices in nursing homes and other care settings can go a long way in helping contain germs and disease.
Science Projects for Nursing Home Residents
Using science for seniors as part of your activities program can help stimulate the brain and contribute to resident quality of life. A one-hour hands-on program called Science for Seniors, created by the author has four parts: select a topic, present fun facts, watch a video on the subject and do a safe experiment with residents. Let's experiment and see how we can bring science projects to our nursing and assisted living residents.
Chair Chi
Chair Chi is an exercise program based on the principals of Tai Chi Chuan, but designed for the elderly in retirement communities, assisted living, personal care homes, nursing homes and adult day centers.
Cultural Sensitivity in Nursing Homes - Major...
Alleged incidents of abuse, neglect and mistreatment among different races, classes and religious groups in long-term care facilities has been reported. Being aware of cultural differences and knowing that they can impact care delivery is important. And the development of culturally sensitive programs can help bridge differences, positively impact care and lead to increased resident, family and employee satisfaction.
Career Ladders in Long-Term Care
One of the workforce issues in long-term care is that for many it is simply a job and not a career. With low retention and high turnover, low wages and minimal benefits, workers cannot see clearly that there is a career progression. In this article hub we look at the concept of career ladders in long-term care, especially important for certified nursing assistants (CNA) and home health aides (HHA).
Disaster Prep Needs Work
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Geriatric Care Manager
As caregivers and families cope with the overwhelming stress of caring for a loved one, a new profession, that of the Geriatric Care Manager is cropping up. A Geriatric Care Manager can help families who are caring for older relatives.
Carnival Time
Everyone has a memory of going to a carnival. Yet many of our elders are no longer capable of getting out to one. Solution - bring the carnival to them. Here's how to stage a carnival in your facility. No clowning around!
How to Extend Your Brand Presence
Brand extension is a marketing strategy used to leverage an organization's good name through related and complementary product and service offerings.
Short Term Rehab Patients
A majority of older Americans will spend at least a short term stay recovering and rehabbing from medical miracles such as hip, knee and other joint replacements as well as serious medical conditions, ranging from a broken bone to a stroke. That is a challenge for activity directors.
The Hospice Care Team
The hospice care team is obviously an integral part of a person’s care that assure that the there is a true quality of life at the end of life.
Employee Retention
Direct care workers have hard jobs, are low paid, and nearly ever receive the rewards and recognition deserved. That is why employee retention is so hard to achieve in aging services. When a position is viewed as simply a job and not a career, it is easy to see why people leave for better paying jobs outside the industry. Employee retention in aging services is a big issue that will become even bigger as the population ages. Let’s look at some strategies to help retain the best workforce.
Adult Day Services
Adult day services design, environment and safety issues are paramount to quality of life for residents. We look at these issues in our continuing series of certification requirements for adult day services.
MDS 3.0 Cognitive Patterns in Nursing Home...
The level of cognitive ability among nursing home residents helps determine a proper care plan and therefore contributes to their quality of care and quality of life. In the past understanding cognitive patterns was done by simply observing residents and making notes of what was observed. Much has changed under MDS 3.0.
Busy Bee Lap Pad
One of the most difficult challenges of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is the person’s withdraw from favorite activities. Christy Schmid faced this problem with long time family friend Bernice. She realized Bernice didn’t need just any ‘childish busy work’ but rather something that gave her the internal feeling of completing a task. To meet Bernice’s needs, through research, and lots of trial and error, Schmid created The Busy Bee Lap Pad.
Memory Care
Site, smell, sounds, touch all invoke memories and an effective activities program that incorporates memory care can really add to the quality of life of elders and others who we encounter in aging services across the continuum of care. Here's how to do it.
One on One Activities
Activity directors spend a lot of time planning engaging programs for their residents. Despite working hard to offer a variety of programming for residents of all ages and abilities, there is still the task of serving residents who by desire or illness refuse to leave their rooms.
A Different Approach to Hospice Marketing
With hospice under scrutiny, it is hard to market these services. Especially since most people don't want to have the conversation around death and dying of a loved one. There is a broader way to approach the subject. Start a broader campaign that people can embrace and which starts the conversation around end of life issues.
Policies Around Sex in Nursing Homes
The Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale, New York is a benchmark organization when it comes to honoring resident preference among a sensitive topic - sex.
Design Strategies for Memory Care
There are many old stereotypes when it comes to memory care design. While respecting the research that deals with colors, patterns, sights and sounds, you can use bold design to enrich the lives of residents.
Medicaid Claims Processing
Let's face it. Claims processing is a pain! But if you are diligent in submission and tracking, you stand a better chance of getting paid on time. Let's look at some best practices in filing.
Using Scents with Alzheimer's / Dementia Patients
Pleasing scents help relax people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. In this article we explore how to use aromatherapy with these patients.
Hospice Gives Hope
Each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our loved ones will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. That is the belief of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and is reflected in the work that hospice providers do around the country. Yet hospice is very misunderstood. Let’s start clearing this up.
PACE Yourself
The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) is a comprehensive care delivery system that allows what traditionally would be thought of as nursing home residents to continue living at home while receiving services.
Dietary Preferences Instead of Dietary...
Honoring residents’ choices in dining actually positions staff to get better clinical outcomes. Choices provide a road map for how to implement care interventions to meet care goals.
Hospice Care Reimbursement
The arena of hospice care reimbursement is often misunderstood by the public and in fact a perception that it is not a covered service often makes caregivers shy away from seeking hospice services. This is what your potential clients should understand. Hospice is paid for through the Medicare Hospice Benefit, Medicaid Hospice Benefit, and most private insurers. If a person does not have coverage through Medicare, Medicaid or a private insurance company, hospice will work with the person and their family to ensure needed services can be provided.
Cultural Sensitivity in Long-Term Care
As the number of ethnic and minority populations age and as the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community ages as well, being culturally aware will become more important in aging services. And serving these populations with respect and dignity will be a driving force behind true culture change. Let's take a look at cultural sensitivity in long term care.
Healthcare Quality Improvement
Healthcare quality improvement starts with people and a culture dedicated to empowering them to serve patients and residents. Empowered people led by inspiring leaders are the key to quality improvement in aging services. In short healthcare quality improvement and culture change are tied at the hip.
Telling Your Life Story
Writing workshops with small groups of residents as well as in one-on-one sessions can produce personalized articles, booklets, books and/or DVDs as mini-biographies to share with family and friends.
Environmental Services in Long-Term Care
Environmental services in long-term care across all settings is more than just keeping a clean and safe environment. It is also about providing a home to residents. The greatest challenge a long-term care environmental services team faces is embracing the psychological and emotional toll residential care puts on the residents and their families.
Earning CEUs Online
Recreation Activity Resources offers educational services for Therapeutic Recreation Specialists, and Activity Directors including an online and home study version of NCCAP-Modular Education Program for Activity Professionals 2nd Edition Courses (MEPAP I and II) and CTRAC version. Earning CEUs online is a great way for busy professionals to stay current in their education.
Art Therapy for Residents
Art projects for seniors can enhance their quality of life while helping them learn a new skill. One innovative program brings a professional artist and all the needed supplies to help residents of all skill levels, beginners to professionals, and all cognitive levels, independent through dementia, express their talents.
Communicating with Residents, Patients and...
Communicating effectively with residents, patients and families is key to providing quality health care. The manner in which you communicate information can be equally as important as the information.
Assisted Living Sales
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Medicare Competitive Bidding
The DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program was mandated by Congress through the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act(MMA). The statute requires that Medicare replace the fee schedule payment methodology for selected Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies (DMEPOS) items with a competitive bid process. It has proved controversial and is also a sought out topic on this site.
Books for Activity Professionals
The best tool for any activity director is education! There is valuable information in the activity director certification as well as the college courses required for certified therapeutic recreation specialists. There is also another source of information - the printed word. The newest research into brain chemistry, the aging process, dementia and other issues confronting seniors is addressed in numerous books with scientifically proven ideas. Let's take a look.
Enhancing Resident Care, Promoting Quiet,...
The quiet issue is big in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living environments. Noise contributes to poor sleep and other health issues. Silverado Senior Living's quest to provide the highest quality of life and to maintain a home like environment for their residents, lead to a search to find a quiet and efficient nurse call system, getting away from overhead paging, loud radios and one way pagers.
Nursing Home and Assisted Living Staffing
Consistent assignment, the idea that residents/clients see the same caregiver(s) all the time, results in more satisfied residents/clients and staff, less turnover and better quality of care. With better quality and better experiences, people talk. And word of mouth is your most potent marketing tool. Consistent staffing is the perfect formula for sustaining and growing your long-term care business.
Assisted Living Satisfaction
The first national survey measuring the assisted living satisfaction of residents, family and staff of assisted living facilities concludes that when it comes to assisted living satisfaction, residents seem very happy while workers are less so. The latter impacts the former. But overall things are looking good for the industry.
Nursing Home Satisfaction
With so much emphasis on quality and satisfaction in healthcare, nursing homes have begun to measure their performance. My InnerView is a company that provides senior care leaders evidence-based management tools. While this article is not an endorsement, it remains that My InnerView has a handle on industry effectiveness more so than any other entity. In this article we will look at their latest report on the industry, the National Survey of Consumer and Workforce Satisfaction in Nursing Homes.
Music Programs in Nursing Homes and Assisted...
The power of music and what it does to bring back memories is undeniable. In addition to enhancing quality of life, there are health benefits to an effective music program. It has been documented that seniors participating in music use fewer medications, fell less depressed, are less lonely, have higher morale and are more socially active. Let’s look at some of the science and the implication for activity directors. Let's find out how incorporate music into your activities.
Using Food to Evoke Memories
Nothing says home like the smell, sight and taste of a familiar recipe. One senior living organization is using a cookbook to evoke memories for seniors under their care.
MDS 3.0 Falls
Falls are a leading cause of injury, morbidity, and mortality in older adults. MDS 3.0 falls guidelines look to help providers minimize fall risk while treating fall injuries with the goal of achieving the best quality of life for residents.
MDS 3.0 Pain Management
Pain can cause suffering for nursing home residents and can result in inactivity, social withdrawal, depression, and functional decline. That is why effective pain management is so important in improving the quality of life for residents. MDS 3.0 regulations around pain management seek to assess the presence of pain, pain frequency, effect on function, intensity, management and control.
Disaster Planning in Long-Term Care
There is no shortage of disasters sweeping the world. And in some cases, no amount of preparation can spare you from bad consequences. But having a disaster plan in place for your facility can minimize those consequences. Start with a plan and then practice, practice, practice.
The Future Aging in Place
What is the future of aging in place? People sure want it. The problem is that the system of support services to facilitate aging in place treats symptoms not causes. In this article we will define a vision for aging in place and look at some of the trends and opportunities for service providers.
What is a Continuing Care Retirement Community
If you are new to aging services and are considering a career that involves caring for elders in a home-like environment, you need to know the differences between a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), an Assisted Living Facility (AL), and a Skilled Nursing Facility or Nursing Home (SNF.
Customer Relationship Management in Long-Term...
CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is a business strategy designed to reduce costs and increase profitability by solidifying customer loyalty. This allows customer facing employees in such areas as sales, customer support, and marketing to make quick yet informed decisions on everything from cross-selling and upselling opportunities to target marketing strategies to competitive positioning tactics. In long-term care it can also go a long way in enhancing the resident/patient experience.
LifeStories
LifeStories a program that uses resident information, reminiscing, validation therapy and research on the web to help residents share and discuss their history.
Non-Medical Home Care Franchise
A Franchise Business Review (FBR) 2012 Special Report on Senior Care Businesses paints a rosy portrait for the home care industry.
MDS 3.0 Skin Conditions
Skin conditions, such as pressure ulcers, are a big concern in both nursing and assisted living facilities. MDS 3.0 Skin Conditions updates protocols for pressure ulcers, wounds, or lesions so that facilities can recognize and evaluate each resident’s risk factors and identify and evaluate all areas at risk of constant pressure.
MDS 3.0 Swallowing / Nutritional Status
The ability to swallow safely can be affected by many disease processes and functional decline. Losing the ability to swallow can result in choking and aspiration, which can increase the resident’s risk for malnutrition, dehydration, and aspiration pneumonia. Adequate nutrition and hydration is essential to a quality of life for seniors. The MDS 3.0 guidelines on Swallowing and Nutritional Status can provide a blueprint for care.
Hospice Care Overview
Each of us has the right to die pain-free and with dignity, and that our loved ones will receive the necessary support to allow us to do so. That is the belief of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization and is reflected in the work that hospice providers do around the country. Yet hospice is very misunderstood. Let’s start clearing this up.
Resident Activities for April, Part 4
April activities for assisted living explores April Fools Day.
Nursing Home Administrator's Exam
The National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB) is composed of state boards or agencies responsible for licensing long term care administrators. The basic objective of the Association is to assist these boards and agencies in carrying out their responsibilities in the licensure and re-licensure of long term care administrators. One of NAB'S functions is the development of the national nursing home administrator examination. This article looks at the third area of testing - Finance.
More April Activities for Nursing Homes and...
April activities for assisted living explore rain themes, trivia, song and activities.
Recruiting Healthcare Workers
One of the fastest growing segments of the economy is healthcare so you would think it would be easy to recruit the best healthcare workers for aging services businesses. Recruiting qualified healthcare workers for aging services has proven hard. There are some systemic issues related to this. So you need to start at the 50,000 foot level to understand the causes so you can move beyond the symptoms.
Preventing, Monitoring and Identifying Abusive...
The long-term care industry is vastly misunderstood and usually lumped together as one entity. Most suffer from the image that carries over from perceptions of skilled nursing facilities - not only is a facility the place people go to die but that it is also a place where elders are abused. Actual statistics do not support the perception of rampant abuse; however, no abuse can be tolerated. This article looks at preventing, monitoring and identifying abusive behavior by your staff.
The Advantages of Career Ladders
Career ladders encourage, recognize, and reward capable employees. Successful performance and acquisition of additional skills through education or training prepare individuals for the next job level. Formal career ladder programs can be found in organizations large enough to have a hierarchy of related occupations plus enough growth and turnover to allow for movement up the ladders. Let's explore the advantages of career ladders.
Increase Participation in Art Activities
Art activities are essential components of an activity program. One of the challenges that program coordinators face is the lack of attendance.
Music for the Dying
Activity professionals in care facilities are often faced with assisting a resident, and with them their friends and families, through a final journey. Hearing is the last sense we lose as our bodies shut down. So therapeutic music is a very important program to offer residents.
Hospice Facts and Stats
Hospice Facts and Stats tell a compelling story of a growing business and a diversified patient mix.
Cultural Sensitivity Training in Nursing Homes
A comprehensive culture sensitivity program in nursing homes should discuss overall organizational cultural competence as well as focus on the specific population groups and/or health issues that are relevant to the community. A well-rounded program also should help clinicians with diagnostic issues, such as identifying health conditions specific to certain ethnic patient populations or conducting skin assessments for patients with skin of color.
Enhancing the Dining Experience
Home Instead Senior Care® conducted a survey regarding the mealtime and nutritional habits of elders living alone. The findings have implications for long-term care facilities.
Staff Evaluations
Employee evaluations are deadly. Deadly because they often ask the wrong questions. Were you absent? How often were you tardy? How often was your documentation late or missing? When was the last time you saw an evaluation form that said: I saw you take a resident outside on a sunny day ____ many times this year. I saw you bring a smile to a resident's face ____ many times this year. Perhaps evaluating from the heart and not the head is in order. See how one administrator did it in his facility.
When to Seek Hospice Care
The medical establishment does not deal well with death so do not expect them to tell you when it is time for extraordinary measures to stop and hospice care to begin. Know the signs at the end of life when it's time to call hospice.
Using Validation Techniques With People Living...
Communication is one of the first casualties of dementia. Because dementia affects memory, people with dementia have difficulty following the thread of a conversation. “Reawakening” a person to the “real world” used to be the norm for caregivers. But newer studies have shown that these small corrections shatter that person's reality. This realization gave birth to a new form of communicating and dealing with people with dementia.
Medicaid Terms A-L
A Glossary of Medicaid Terms from A-L
Assistive / Adaptive Technologies
Assistive and Adaptive Technologies help elders maintain their independence and are keys to aging in place. This overview of assistive and adaptive technologies should inspire you to explore this much needed area of aging services care. There are needs that require solutions. Can you fill those gaps? Start envisioning how.
Guest Writer: Gloria Hoffner, Author of Science...
Gloria Hoffner is the owner of Guitar with Gloria and Science for Seniors providing activity programs at over 200 retirement communities.
Music Programs for Activities
The power of music and what it does to bring back memories is undeniable. In addition to enhancing quality of life, there are health benefits to an effective music program. It has been documented that seniors participating in music use fewer medications, fell less depressed, are less lonely, have higher morale and are more socially active.
Adult Day Services Article Hub
With the continued push towards aging in place, adult day services or adult day centers play a vital role in the quality of life for our seniors. In this hub we look at statistics for the industry, state rules and regulations, certification, record keeping, service requirements, design environment and safety, as well as staffing.
Guest Writer: Catherine Bevil, RN, EdD
Catherine Bevil, RN, EdD, is a professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing and Director of Continuing Nursing Education.
Resident Activities for April, Part 5
April activities for assisted living explores baseball.
Net Promoter Score
A Net Promoter Score (NPS) is based on the perspective that every company's customers can be divided into three categories: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors. By asking one simple question — How likely is it that you would recommend [Company X] to a friend or colleague? — you can track these groups and get a clear measure of your company's performance through its customers' eyes.
Adult Day Services Certification
As the push for aging in place grows, Adult Day Centers will become increasingly important. And the rules governing them will grow as well. The certification of these centers is important. In this article we look at one state’s requirements – Oregon – as a template for other states and for providers contemplating entry into this market.
Avoiding the Caregiver Trap
The caregiver trap is a term that describes that place in a human relationship where we feel trapped into doing something for a client when know we should not. Activities directors can get sucked into that trap.
Patient Satisfaction in Home Health Care
The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) Home Health Care Survey is designed
Increasing Staff Engagement
The importance of having all employees focused on the big picture helps those employees work better as a team and bring meaning to the work they do. In this article we’ll look at a few programs that practically show how to connect employees to the bigger picture.
ICD-10
ICD-10 implementation while postponed, was set to begin in October of 2013. Still organizations should prepare.
Red Flag Rules FAQ
Frequently asked questions around Red Flag Rules can help you as you put together your Red Flag Prevention Program.
Social Media in Long-Term Care
Everyone is abuzz about the social media. Yet its application for healthcare is not entirely clear. Let’s simplify the social media equation for healthcare organizations.
Engaging Consumers in Their Healthcare
We have reported on trends showing how other segments of the healthcare community are moving to engage consumers and have them take more responsibility for their health. In this article we look at three over-arching principles. Most important, start with the health of your own workforce.
Dementia and the Sounds of Silence
Excessive noise in healthcare facilities has often been cited as a patient experience priority. In nursing homes, noise can exacerbate dementia. It is important to control the noise pollution in your facility.
Helping Residents with Dementia Re-connect with...
The magic of books is what Shadowbox Press brings to people living with dementia. The disease may eliminate the ability to understand complex dialog or even words, but through Shadowbox Press editions their joy of reading continues.
SNFists
In October 2012, penalties for certain readmissions started for hospitals. With that came a new reliance by hospitals on their long-term care partners. A new breed of primary care providers called SNFists or SNFologists are full-time physicians in skilled nursing facilities, who are more readily available to patients at risk for readmission.
Linked Senior
Electronics have revolutionized the world of activity programming for independent, assisted living and long term care facilities. Digital ideas must be part of every activity department! Linked Senior is a way to use technology to create activities customized to individual needs and to empower activity and programming staff.
Economic Impact of Long-Term Care
A report by the American Health Care Association (AHCA) shows that the nation’s nearly 16,000 nursing homes provide $153.8 billion of direct economic impact to state economic activity (1.1%) and $371.9 billion of total impact (2.7%) to state economic activity. Clearly the economic impact of long-term care is large.
Continuing Care, Assisted Living, Nursing Homes
If you are new to aging services and are considering a career that involves caring for elders in a home-like environment, you need to know the differences between a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), an Assisted Living Facility (AL), and a Skilled Nursing Facility or Nursing Home (SNF). Page 2.
Ceramics
Ceramics can be a fun activity for all ages. And particularly it can be used for the short-stay rehabilitation patient too. Let's look at how to get started with using ceramics in your activity program.
Designing Healthcare Spaces
Kathy Bradway is an interior designer for health care for brings a residential perspective to her design. Full of rich colors, her designs are colorful, cheerful, and fun. You don't have to understand gerontological design theories and color theory to make an effective senior living space.
The Ipod Shuffle
Remember your last really bad day at work? Feeling frustrated, maybe sad, and perhaps even angry at the end of the day? And then remember getting in your car, starting the engine and suddenly your favorite song from high school is blasting through the radio speakers. The next thing you know, you are singing, smiling and your mood has totally changed! Imagine recreating that atmosphere for elders in nursing facilities. That is the idea behind Music and Memory, a program that is improving the quality of life of the elderly and ill through iPod based personalized music.
Memory Mats
Enter the dining room of most long term care, personal care and assisted living dining rooms and you will notice an absence. Not of food. Not of people. But of conversation! A new product could help.
The Rise of Home Health Care
According to the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, home care began in the US in the 1880’s. Approximately 12 million individuals currently receive care from more than 33,000 providers. In 2009, annual expenditures for home health care were projected to be $72.2 billion. With a continued emphasis on aging in place, home care will continue to have its place in the aging continuum but it is not without its challenges.
Alarming News! Alarms Hurt More Than Help When...
Falls are a leading cause of injury, morbidity, and mortality in older adults. While MDS 3.0 guidelines looks to help providers minimize fall risks, there are apparent fall reduction mechanisms, like alarms, that actually contribute to falls as opposed to preventing them. In this article, we look at how to reduce alarms and therefore falls in facilities.
Nursing Homes and the Flu
There is no worse place to introduce a flu epidemic than in a health care setting. And nursing homes and the flu could be a deadly combination. Here are things to keep in mind for preventing and/or containing the spread of flu in your facility.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center
The American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) new Pathway to Excellence in Long Term CareTM (PTE-LTC) Program is the first recognition of its kind for long-term-care facilities. PTE-LTC acknowledges long-term-care facilities that foster work environments where nurses and nursing staff can thrive, substantiates the professional satisfaction of nurses, and identifies the best places to work. Find out how to be credentialed.
Holistic Approaches to Dementia Care
Memory Magz® and Memory Mealz™ specialize in holistic approaches to dementia care. It recognizes four pillars: Environmental, Communication, Nutritional & Engaging Activity.
Finding a Job as a Nursing Home Administrator
Nursing home administrator jobs are highly-skilled and highly-paid. And with the industry in high flux, positions open and close frequently. Here are some top level sources to start your search.
In the Mood
Mood distress is a serious condition that is under-diagnosed and undertreated in nursing homes and can lead to death. MDS 3.0 mood assessment seeks to reduce the morbidity caused by mood disorders.
Technology Classes for Seniors
Project Looking Glass II, an effort that placed a researcher in a retirement community for one month, uncovered some interesting findings on technology’s importance and intimidation factors for seniors.
Technology and Communication
Staying connected is an increasingly important factor in aging well and aging safely.
Training the Next Generation of Senior Living...
With the shift to wellness in healthcare and the demands of a boomer generation for holistic care comes a need for next generation leaders. For the assisted living community, an internship program could be the answer.
Assisted Living Definitions
Here are some useful assisted living definitions that could come in handy.
Teleconferencing and the Patient Experience
The convenience and immediacy of videoconferencing is infiltrating healthcare as a value-added service and as long as patient's choices and services are not removed by the addition of technology, people will only continue to appreciate the possibilities.
Why Your Children Should Interact with Elders
Do your residents have young grandchildren or great grandchildren who want to visit them? Here are six tips for helping your child get through their first visit.
Security and Privacy in Nursing Homes
Nursing homes are becoming more like hospitals. Yet security and privacy in nursing homes have not necessarily kept up with hospital counterparts. And when you read reports that show 90 percent of nursing homes employ ex-cons, well, it becomes more imperative to know exactly who your patients are, who your employees are and even know who the visitors and vendors are that roam around your facility. This article looks at available and emerging technologies.
Expressive Arts for Alzheimer's & Dementia
PotentiALZ is a traveling creative arts program for residents with dementia.
MDS 3.0 Nutritional Status
The intent of Section K of the MDS assessment, Swallowing/Nutritional Status, is to identify conditions that could impact a resident’s ability to maintain adequate nutrition and hydration.
Gerontological Nurse Certification
Registered nurses are absolutely essential to quality health care. Board certification is the gold standard of excellence for many professions. For nurses employed in long term care, being certified as a Gerontological Nurse is the mark of distinction.
Changing the Culture in Nursing Homes
There is no way to separate leadership and collaboration from culture change. Without leadership and collaboration, there is no culture change. Relationships, organizational practices, and physical environments cannot change without support and conviction form nursing home leadership. Culture change in nursing homes is the key to long-term success.
Art Activities
Art projects for seniors can enhance their quality of life while helping them learn a new skill. Art appreciation also helps foster lifelong learning and mind stimulation.
Gloria Hoffner Blazing Trails with Science Pgm
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Activity Professional Careers
Residential living communities for seniors have a unique responsibility to provide not only food, shelter and health care, but also provide for the mental well being of their residents. The activities program is one way to provide for that well being and the activity professional is key.
Palliative Care
Palliative Care is a misunderstood service most often associated with death and dying. In reality, palliative can give people a longer quality of life during any stage of life. It is specialized medical care for those with serious illnesses that focuses on providing patients with relief from the symptoms, pain, and stress of that illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.
Health Care Lobbying
Politics is always a hot topic and no more so than in the health care arena. Being versed in health care advocacy and the basics of advocacy and lobbying are good skills to acquire and can be good for your business.
The Art of the Testimonial
The economy is driven on word of mouth. People seek out referrals all the time from friends, families, neighbors. The referral is a story and if it is a good story, that is one that results in business, well than it is a testimonial waiting to happen. Testimonials are the life-blood of the healthcare business. Often emotional, they attract attention and can be used to obtain more business.
Resident Activities for May, Part Three
May activities for nursing homes and assisted living explores Cinco de Mayo.
How To Administer the Home Health Patient...
The effective administration of the home health CAHPS survey is essential to assuring reliable results that can help you improve care. Most home health care patients served by Medicare-certified home health agencies (HHAs) are eligible to be included in the Home Health Care CAHPS (HHCAHPS) Survey.
Home Health CAHPS
The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) Home Health Care Survey is designed to measure the experiences of people receiving home health care from Medicare-certified home health care agencies.
Nursing Home Administrator’s Exam
The National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB) is composed of state boards or agencies responsible for licensing long term care administrators. The basic objective of the Association is to assist these boards and agencies in carrying out their responsibilities in the licensure and re-licensure of long term care administrators. One of NAB'S functions is the development of the national nursing home administrator examination.
Healthcare Opportunities Abound as Industry Grows
There are many healthcare segments from which to choose when looking to establish a business or seek employment. Page 2.
RAC It Up
The Medicare Recovery Audit contractor program has successfully recovered over $1 billion in over-payments to providers. And this process is now extended to Medicaid. Find out what you need to know about protecting yourself against and audit and preventing one from taking place at all.
Physical Therapists in Demand in Healthcare
Physical therapists careers are expected to grow much faster than average and job opportunities are good. More and more nursing homes are employing physical therapists as the industry embraces the rehabilitation business. In terms of hiring and staffing, this is a profession in demand.
Guest Author: Frosini Rubertino
Frosini is the founder of TrainingInMotion.org providing training workshops for long-term care professionals.
Dementia - Public Health Crisis and Priority
The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified dementia as a public health crisis in need of policy. The statistics they present are compelling and will call for more paid interventions of care as the very caregivers of today become the dementia sufferer of tomorrow.
Build Your Own Career Ladder
CNAs can build their own ladder or lattice using Department of Labor tools. At CareerOneStop you can actually follow a process to design your own career ladder.
Home Remodeling for Aging in Place
Aging in place is the ability to live in one's own home for as long as confidently and comfortably possible. One of the keys to successful aging in place is to remodel the home to accommodate that. That has spawned a lucrative aging in place home remodeling and design industry.
A Vision for Aging in Place
People want to age in place. The problem is that the system of support services to facilitate aging in place treats symptoms not causes. In this article we will define a vision for aging in place and look at some of the trends and opportunities for service providers. Page 2.

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